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India to get 5,000 tons of Hilsa from Bangladesh on Durga Puja Hilsa
Image Credit: Pixabay

India to get 5,000 tons of Hilsa from Bangladesh on Durga Puja

Mir Afroz Zaman/UNI | @indiablooms | 04 Sep 2022, 03:38 pm

Dhaka: Bangladesh is planning to export 5000 tons of Hilsa fish to India on the occasion of Durga Puja.

Not only that, the government will keep a strict watch on the institutions which will be allowed to export and whether they work as per the rules or not.

According to the sources of the Ministry of Commerce, in September last year, 115 companies were given permission to export a total of 4,600 tons of Hilsa to India, but many did not supply the fish.

However, in 2020, first one thousand 450 tons and then another 400 tons of Hilsa were exported with Bangladesh government's permission.

More than a hundred companies have already applied to the country's Ministry of Commerce seeking permission to export Hilsa to India this year. Out of which, initially 50 companies have been selected.

Durga Puja will start from October 1. Hilsa is usually exported to India on the occasion of Durga Puja.

Although the export was stopped from 2012 to 2018, the export of Hilsa to the country started again from 2019.

When asked, Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said last Thursday, "India imported 1,400 tons of Hilsa last year."

At that time, the ban on catching Hilsa was one of the obstacles in terms of export. However, this year we expect the export to be more. It is also being considered to extend the period of export.

Last time, the first consignment of Hilsa from Bangladesh went to Kolkata through the Benapole-Petrapole border by land. Usually, Hilsa weighing 700 grams to 1,200 grams is exported to India.

Apart from Bangladesh, Hilsa is found in neighbouring India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. But Bangladeshi hilsa is the most popular in terms of taste.

According to sources, the Ministry of Commerce is unhappy because the exports were not good last time.

Last time, the Ministry of Commerce had written to 73 companies who did not export Hilsa to India even after receiving permission.

According to sources, those who exported, their quantity ranged from 3 to 40 tonnes.

The Ministry of Commerce allows a company to export up to a maximum of 40 tonnes of hilsa.

The time given for this is 15 days.

According to the sources, the Ministry of Commerce will inform the Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports about the permission to export Hilsa to India within two weeks.

There have been allegations of opacity in permission as every year for 22 days in October, Hilsa extraction, transportation, storage, marketing, buying and exchange are prohibited throughout the country.

This ban was imposed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock from October 4 to 25 last year. This year the ban will start on October 7.

Exporters say that the puja and ban fall fairly close together. So they cannot export hilsa within the stipulated time. Exports are allowed despite lack of time and capacity for export. Both of these are one of the reasons for not exporting hilsa to India.

Considering the difficulties faced by the exporters, the Ministry of Commerce extended the deadline for the export of Hilsa till November last time.

According to Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA), five and a half to six lakh tons of Hilsa are produced in the country annually. Four to five thousand tons of Hilsa are exported from it.

Due to this, prices and supply do not have much impact on the market. It also earns foreign exchange equal to 200 crore taka.